Born & raised in Harlem, New York, ASAP Rocky is no stranger to the cliché rap lifestyle, popularized by fellow Harlem Patriarchs from Big L & Kool Moe Dee to Ma$e, and Cam'ron. However, Rocky's entrenching yet melodic rap style has drawn more immediate comparisons to recently incarcerated Harlemite Max B.
"Rocky" the Nickname given in part, from his birth name Rakim (after the legendary NY emcee), and in part for his scrappy, yet suave persona, would quickly embrace Harlem's diverse music lineage. Raised by his Mother & Father, Rocky was exposed to soulful records such as those from Curtis Mayfield, and Marvin Gaye, in addition to the sudden wave of 90's "Gangsta Rap", as well as local Harlem talent. Feeling he had played student of the rap game for long enough, a young Rocky tried his hand at penning his first verse, after hearing his older brother pound out beats on the kitchen table. Instantly recognizing the talent in his sibling, he insisted Rocky not only finish the song but start a new hobby, combining his already popular nickname with the acronym ASAP, meaning To Accumulate Status And Power (also the name of Rocky's Crew of Harlem Based contemporaries).
Since that time music has changed drastically, but not ASAP Rocky's ear for quality, as he began making his rounds on the local battle rap circle, and ghostwriting when the opportunity presented itself. By not limiting his musical inspirations geographically, Rocky maintains this diversity in his music today, drawing inspiration from such stark opposites as the Red Hot Chili Peppers & Hope Sandoval to Cee-Lo Green and MGMT. This diversity, evident in his viral debut "Purple Swag", is clearly what rap fans have been craving, as the video amassed an impressive 100K+ views in a matter of days. Paying tribute to the screw legends of Texas and their infamous purple potion, but with a distinct Harlem flavor.
Rocky is avoiding hipster cliché, and the recent "swag" overload, with a more organic yet still braggadocio style, self proclaimed as Harlem's "Pretty MotherF**Ker." Rocky's uniquely authentic introspection, and style have many toting the youngster as NYC's emcee to watch in the year to come. And if Rocky's initial buzz is any indication, all signs point to a rap resurrection, appropriately led by the kid named after "The God Emcee."
Quincy Matthew Hanley (born October 26, 1986), better known by his stage name ScHoolboy Q is an American hip hop recording artist. Hanley is signed to Top Dawg Entertainment/Interscope Records and is a member of Black Hippy along with Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul. In a 2011 interview when asked about what encouraged him to start rapping, Hanley explained that it was something he was "born to do": "I was just chillin' man, but rapping's just something I was born to do. I don't know when I started rapping. I don't know how I started rapping, but I know I wrote a verse and I was stuck ever since," he explained.
Preceded by two mixtapes, his album Setbacks reached #100 on the Billboard 200 in 2011, selling close to 1,000 digital copies in the first week. On January 14, 2012 he released his second independent album Habits & Contradictions. The album debuted at #111 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 3,900 digital copies in the United States.
In an era of industry-obsessed MCs, interchangeable hashtag raps, and "viral" everything, it has become increasingly difficult to find a true original in the rap game. Yet ask anyone who's been paying attention and they'll tell you: Danny Brown is that dude. In 2011 the Motor City MC teamed up with Fool's Gold Records and released XXX, a tour-de-force concept record about hedonism, growing up, and Detroit, which took listeners on a profane and psychedelic journey through his own uncensored id. After a year of universal critical acclaim - from Spin naming XXX Rap Album Of The Year to Danny covering the Metro Times and Real Detroit in the same week as their Artist Of The Year - Danny continues to spread his irreverent gospel worldwide with extensive touring and even more unrestrained, unstoppable rhymes.
DJ D Strong [BET 106 & Park]
As a rising star on the scene, seasoned beat blender DJ D-Strong is quickly becoming one of the most notable and dynamic DJs, one who is writing his own rules and trail blazing his way through the music industry. Drawing on his diverse musical background and a rapidly expanding fan base that began in Central Florida, DJ D-Strong knows no limits and is fully committed to his craft.
Whether it’s thousands of fans cheering worldwide on tour with multiplatinum recording artist Ciara or thousands of partygoers standing wall-to-wall at some of the country’s hottest nightclubs, DJ D-Strong’s electrifying turntable talents will undeniably keep the crowd rocking all night long. His high-energy delivery and unmatched, cutting-edge music selection will guarantee anyone in his presence a good time.